There Is an Inheritance, but There Are No Heirs

In the 12th year of the assassination, the assassin is arousing more interest than his victim.

In the 12th year of the assassination, the assassin is arousing more interest than his victim. And what exactly is the victim's daughter supposed to do with the gift she received for the anniversary? What a shame that the police commissioner did not give her other tapes, which document an investigation of politicians and rabbis from the crime families that prepared the ground - as well as hearts and minds - for the assassination; they, in their haste to do evil, marked the target, but have never been investigated by the police or by the Shin Bet security services, so there are no tapes.

The politicians and rabbis have also been concealing his legacy since then, and in order to claim innocence and to say "our hands did not spill this blood," they claim that he had no legacy.

He certainly had, and not only the Oslo Accords. Let his service record be reopened, let things be written, and let these bones live for a moment.

Yitzhak Rabin did not know how to preach well, and he was not a teacher, but he did know how to practice. He may be the last of those who practiced what he preached, and that, too, is a legacy: He never made education a top priority, but he is the only prime minister in recent generations who tried to improve it.

He and his minister of education, Shulamit Aloni, did not come to bury the system, but to revive it. They streamed billions of shekels into its arteries before the funds dried up. Had the teachers' salaries not been improved over a decade ago, the teachers in Israel today might have been in need of soup kitchens at the end of the short school day.

Rabin, who came from the defense establishment, understood that national security lies in education. Everything can be purchased abroad, he explained, including planes and tanks, but only one product is entirely home grown: the Israeli person, and he cannot be taken off the international shelf. That was his legacy, and it's a shame that it has no heirs. But that's our problem, not his.

Did Rabin change his spots when he was elected prime minister? Did he become part of Meretz? Not at all. He simply knew the Israel Defense Forces better than the others, who also knew as he did that even a good army is no guarantee of perpetual victory - it cannot be subjected to superfluous tests, because the power of deterrence is more a matter of concealment and less a matter of demonstration. Ehud Olmert of Lebanon is not the heir.

Not only the army but the entire nation, he told me, has been flexing its muscles for 50 years, and it is not allowed to relax them and to heal them to regain strength; and muscles that are constantly under strain eventually become tired. A prime minister must carefully examine any opportunity, even the most far-fetched, to see whether it is nevertheless possible to achieve even a temporary rest, after having already come to our land. Rabin was even willing to give up the entire Golan Heights, I am his witness. Is Ehud Barak his disciple? Judging by several recent revealing signs, the answer is apparently negative.

And also this from his legacy: When the bank account in Washington was revealed - a minor offense after all - he could have blamed his wife, remained in his position, but he preferred to resign. Even if he wasn't to blame, he was responsible, and he didn't impose the personal responsibility on his family. Nor was Ariel Sharon the heir, to the chagrin of the image-makers.

Rabin left a worthy legacy, which to date has no heirs. In their absence, sometimes one is plagued by doubts regarding the inheritance itself. Did it exist, or did we invent it?

The natural heirs, the "candle children" who were meant to be the keepers of the flame, also were extinguished, like a fire of thorns. Their leaders were the first to betray them. Instead of "An entire generation demands peace," we have an apathetic generation whose demands are not clear - if it even has any dreams left. Each to his own, and particularly his own property, tending to their own affairs in the manner of false leaders. After they rose from their mourning, they did not really become stabilized.

Once I thought that Rabin was the most alive deceased person among us, and today I think that he is the deadest deceased.

Only young people, the next generation, will still emerge from the wilderness, from the silence, and breathe life into the deceased and his legacy.